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Great trail run or run/walk. 650-700ft elevation gain over just under 5 miles keeps it interesting but not too strenous. Some steep climbs that had me winded but mostly rolling ups and downs, on a well maintained trail. trail travels through man different ecosystems/microclimates from golden grassy fields, to oak forest, redwood, and riparian.

Easy access from Harvey West if you are coming from the Eastside.

Many Elk. Very minimal inclines. Many children and elderly on the trail. Went barefoot the last mile or so in the sand. One of the calmest and most serene 10 milers in my experience

Beautiful views along the way and at the end of the trail. Fairly easy walk along a dirt/ sand path. Unmaintained area was not difficult to navigate w long sleeves and pants. Took us under 5 hours round trip w a stop for lunch.

Despite the throngs of people at the trailhead car park (Saturday 9 am) this was actually a reasonably quiet loop. I’m quite a fast hiker and completed it in just under 4 hours. If you are used to hiking or are otherwise fit,, you will probably agree that it is pretty easy terrain (though there are warning signs about its difficulty, so it’s important, as always, to really know your ability). Pretty views out to the sea (probably shrouded in fog in winter). The falls are not all that big, but are pretty. Diverse views and ecosystems. Definitely talk to one of the excellent staff rangers when you go in as they can give very clear instructions about how to start (I suggest counter-clockwise) in a way that is not obvious on the all trails or the paper map. I will definitely return and do this as a trail run! A warning: by 1 pm the car park was packed and rows of cars were waiting. Strongly encourage weekday or v early starts!

on Sequoia Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Half the trail is by the road , but the other half is a beautiful walk in the forest. There has a big hill you need to climb to complete the loop, but other than that incline was pretty mild.

It’s nice beautiful trees

hiking
6 days ago

I hiked this in April 2017. I loved being surrounded by the large sequoia trees. Nice trail, some hills but overall I found it to be a peaceful and tranquil hike. Very heavily forested with a nice waterfall.

This is a beautiful trail, and probably that's an understatement.
For starters, this was my first ever backpacking trip. So, first ever backpacking trip for a person who's 5feet (petite) and who hits the gym 10times a month on average. Whatever i read on this site and several other blogs definitely made me feel scared that I might not complete this and I'm doing something dumb. All i want to say is, this is not an impossible trail, being in shape and being fit helps, doing other backpacking trips before this might help too. But this can very much be your first backpacking trip as well. But again, if you're one of those who might get tired or might face severe body aches walking 5miles on flat/concrete land - then you might not want to consider doing this one. (I do want to add that I was on ibuprofen all three nights while hiking to reduce some body pains)

We started off at Mattole on Wednesday evening around 5PM and walked till about 8PM and camped around the lighthouse. We were not in the more crowded campground areas, we just managed to find a spot where it was just us and that did feel good.
Thursday - we started from the lighthouse and began walking around the first impassable spot, we took a lot of breaks, enjoyed the views, and hiked till Randall Creek and camped there. Again, we managed to find a not-at-all crowded spot which worked good.
Friday - we started from Randall Creek and started walking the flat lands, again we took a lot of breaks, enjoyed the wind, the sun, the views and by the end of the day we came a bit farther than the major campground and again camped in a secluded spot (this one is just before the next impassable section)
Saturday - we were determined to complete this trail and head back to black sands. we started a little early around 9AM (earlier days was around 11AM) and did not make major stops on the impassable section. We did one major stop at Buck Creek for breakfast and began hiking again. Honestly, the toughest part of the hike is the last 2miles. We successfully finished and reach black sands beach at about 5PM.

Our original plan was Wednesday to Sunday, but we managed to get done by Saturday!

Couple of things:
Take your time, don't be in a rush just to finish the trail for the sake of finishing it. The view, the sun and the wind is pure and gorgeous. I'm very glad we took hour long breaks in so many spots and just enjoyed sitting out there in wilderness doing absolutely nothing.

Rocks maybe your new best friend. I understand a lot of reviews or blogs mentioned the last 5-6miles is beach sand and it is difficult. Heck yeah, it is difficult. For most of the part, i found my way around trying to walk on loose small rocks. For me, every time i saw that i could walk on the rocks, i was pretty glad. This may not work for everyone, keep in mind it is very very easy to sprain your ankle or get your ankle bent while walking on rocks (big or small, both of them exist in this trail)

Tidal timing is everything. I mean it, if you do not feel safe at any of the impassable sections to get through, just stay back. We did that. Honestly, we just memorized the general tidal timings from a high-level perspective. For us it was just being smart about the tides. If you have a general idea about tidal timings and did some good research before, you should be good. Again, carrying a tidal map is an absolute necessity. We did that, but we hardly opened it.

Pack light - if this your first backpacking trip, do pack light. We over analyzed our intake of food and toiletries and packed a little extra than needed. A bit more planning or idea might have helped us on that front. I would definitely suggest you to review your previous hikes you've done and see how your body consistently reacts to hiking. For example: I know if i'm on a long hike, by the end of it I lose most of my appetite and just require more water. But again, i forced myself to eat as much as possible to hike this one.

Stay hydrated, the first 3-5miles may not have any creeks, but there are abundant creeks through out the rest of the trail. So water should never be a problem, except bring a purifier for sure.

Snakes: We did spot a couple of snakes, they were not rattle snakes. Not sure what they were, but we did spot one at Buck Creek while filling water and one around the land where we camped for the 3rd night. Be careful and check your entire surroundings before you camp somewhere.

Enjoy the hike, it's beautiful and has some amazing view of the world's biggest ocean's coastline. Anything said to describe the trails beauty is not sufficient. It is something to just experience and soak it in.

It is a long hike for sure, there were a couple of times in different days where i was tired and waiting to see if there's flat land anywhere at all. It can take a toll on you if you're not mentally up for it. For me, as much as a hike requires physical strength, it requires mental strength too.

Beautiful views all around. Easy hike. Lots of wildlife!

Scenic, touristy spot with many shops and restaurants. Walk to the end and look through wharf to see tons of sea lions! You'll hear them from a mile away.

Nice, but more hyped up than imagined. Just about every hike in the area is similar unless you go far, and you can only look at the same tall trees so long before getting bored. California has many other, more exciting hikes, but if in SFO area, this is a decent area. Pain that you need to book in advance, bit keeps crowds of tourists out.

My first real hike.. Be prepared for miles of sand hiking on the last leg and on the return!! The views will be well worth it!!

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful hike! Get to the trailhead earlier for parking (8 or 9am), and to see the elk, deer, and rabbits. Went yesterday and it was foggy on our way out, but was burning off on the way back — both ways, it was still gorgeous. Wear layers and bring lots of water. The last stretch to the ocean cliff view is uphill and deep sand trail so your shoes will be filled!

At first you go uphill for about 1/2 a mile and then you start heading downhill. You end up at a beach which is BEAUTIFUL! Coming back the road is steep, but not difficult.

A few important things that need to be stated:
People using this trail are extremely problematic. Do I have your attention? I’m talking to you. There was trash in damn near every campsite we walked by. Half burned food packs in fire pits, cans, toilet paper and baby wipes every-damn-where, and on far too many occasions, piles of shit with a rock placed over them.

If you do not know what backpacking etiquette is, educate yourself first, OR DO NOT GO.

1. PACK OUT YOUR TRASH. All of it. Do not burn it like an idiot. We all know plastic and foil packaging should not be burned.
2. BURRY your feces and toilet paper (if you don’t pack the TP out; do not burry wipes, they must be packed out) 6-8 inches deep.
3. DO NOT HARASS THE WILDLIFE. This includes getting too close for photos as well as polluting their home with your trash.
4. LEAVE NO TRACE.

This is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done, and to see the remnants of peak season use litter the pristine gem is beyond disappointing.

i was always in a hurry to see what was around the next corner. next time got to slow down and appreciate it. our August hike had perfect weather and tides. it is a great hike, not nearly as difficult as anticipated. plentiful water, no need to carry more than a liter at a time.

We like to hike here with the kids every New Years Day. One year we hiked through a cold rain and didn’t have the right gear but it was pretty nonetheless. The next year was clear and gorgeous. It’s a great walk in any weather.

14 days ago

Love this hike, and I’m biased because it’s where my husband proposed. ❤️

Beautiful

Left Mattole Sunday morning and made it to Black Sands on Tuesday a little before noon. One of the best backpacking trips I’ve been on. We had one clear day and then a couple foggy days. Make sure you check the tides and truly obey the schedule. There were a few times that we were a couple hours on either side of high tide and we had some waves come up to our waist, this was ok but I can see how some might have gotten washed away if it was any later or earlier. It was definitely not easy and if this is your first backpacking trip I’d recommend doing another trip first before trying this one out. However it is doable if you are in good shape. Lots of walking on sand and loose rocks. Everyone we met on the trail was very nice and our group now has many memories to take home with us. I definitely recommend this trip and would do it again (but for now it’s ice and Advil for the legs).

hiking
18 days ago

Great trail with beautiful coastal ocean views. But best of all is that you get to see Elks! I’m glad I read other reviews here about wearing long pants, good hiking shoes and bringing a jacket for the foggy mornings. Make sure to bring water and snacks because the hike takes about 4hrs round trip.

hiking
18 days ago

I was underwhelmed. Parking is a hassle and you have to pay ahead and come during your designated time slot. You can only see so many giant trees and the trails are a bit too manicured and landscaped to feel like an actual hike.

hiking
19 days ago

awesome hike, get there early and wear warm gear. you will hike through fog most of the hike. but the end well generally be sunny, amazing little watering hole where the elk all hangout. I found driving from San Francisco at 6am made me one of the first people there. but it fills up and gets very busy!

I took this trail on a holiday weekend, the trails were packed with people.
It was foggy so I missed the views but the trail was beautiful but the hike is brutal coming up from Stinson.
Not a lot of stairs A REAL LOT OF STAIRS!!
I was glad when I was near the top it kinda levels off and you go across the ridge.

I stopped at the top and met some nice people that suggested I take the Matt Davis trail back so I did it was worth it not having to go down all those stairs with great scenery and put me 1 block from-the trailhead at Stinson where I parked

The Matt Davis trail has a few pretty hairy spots that could get ugly if not being extra careful

It was a great day over all and look forward to going back to explore other trails on MT Tam

EDIT I consider myself an average hiker, that night and the next day my legs are really sore

on Berry Creek Falls Loop

21 days ago

Bring water and look out for banana slugs! Great hike.

Heavy foot traffic but a must see section of the Santa Cruz area

Love this breezy trail. Fern cove beach so beautiful!

Incredible! A genuine California experience. Some tips that I learned: hike the trail close to a new moon (the lowest tides will be during the day) and pay attention to vague signs leading you over hat rock. It was a wonderful trip though.

Amazing backpacking trail. beautiful views and campsites along creeks; we got a swim in each night. The low number of permits keep this lightly trafficked and we ran into few people. You do need to plan around the tides and walking on sand and rocks for most of the trail is hard on your feet, so bring tape for blisters. We did the trail in July and had great weather.

Loved seeing the Big Red trees. Took the path leading up the hill. great little hike. 1st time had to park like a mile away... so get there early.

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